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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2001 Dec;20(12):2778-84.

Temperature- and parasite-induced changes in toxicity and lethal body burdens of pentachlorophenol in the freshwater clam Pisidium amnicum.

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  • 1Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Department of Biology, University of Joensuu, Finland.


Seasonal variation in abiotic and biotic environments may modify the toxicity of organic chemicals for aquatic organisms. In present study, survival of the freshwater clam Pisidium amnicum was studied in laboratory exposures to pentachlorophenol (PCP) in April (at 5 degress C) and July (at 19 degress C). Behavioral responses, mean survival times (MSTs), and the lethal body burdens (LBBs) of PCP for uninfected clams and for clams infected by digenean trematodes were determined separately in two PCP concentrations, 100 and 300 microgram/L. Analysis of data revealed reduced behavioral activity of the clams in the PCP exposure compared to that in the control. The time needed for toxic responses was greatly affected by temperature; MSTs were 5 to 15 times longer in winter than at summer temperatures. Unexpectedly, the infected clams in summer were more tolerant to PCP than the uninfected clams. Despite the differences in survival times, the LBBs between the seasons were constant. However, in summer, the infected clams had significantly higher LBBs than the uninfected clams. The differences in survival and LBBs between the infected and uninfected clams are suggested to be caused by the high lipid contents found in parasites, which may change the internal distribution of PCP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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